Enhancement Request: Allow changes to Column Type when Conditional Formatting is set

J. Craig Williams
J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

If a column is associated with any Conditional Formatting, the column type can not be changed.

This is true even if the Conditional Formatting Rule is disabled.

This is true even when changing Column Type from 'like' types, for example Text/Number to Dropdown List.

This is an inconvenience, minor at best, severe at worst when there are many rules associated with the column.

Please allow some means to change the type. 


 -Set the associated Rule "Invalid" and make it obvious to the user which ones were impacted.

- Automatically change rule if it can be translated (ie contains "Red" would be the same for Symbol, Dropdown List or Text/Number for sure)

This request has also be posted to the Form

See following post for work-arounds.




  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There are several main takeaways for me from this limitation:

    1. When designing workflow solutions (and Sheets in general), it is very important to determine Column Name and Type as soon as possible in the process. This just is another reason why that is true.

    2. Related to (1), this limitation moves the Conditional Formatting Rules to later (as late as possible) in the the process, to allow for changes to Column Name and Type earlier in the process.

    Both (1) and (2) are just efficiency issues and minimizing rework.

    3. Since disabling the rule still won't let you change the Column Type, you might be tempted to deleted them (there may be more than one!).


    Instead, just change the <set condition> to a different column. This at least preserves the other formatting decisions. After changing the column type, come back and change the <set condition> back.

    It would be nice if changing the <set condition> from one Text/Number field to another would preserve the condition, but alas, it does not do that either.

    But at least, a few moments will be saved.

    I also start with a screen shot, so I can restore the Rule(s) exactly.

    I hope this helps.



  • Kara Lumley

    I never thought of pointing to a different column - thanks!


  • Steve Kaplan

    Unfortunately my sheet has over a hundred conditional format rules, so I can't just change them to allow the column type to be changed. I am thinking of copying the column in question to a new column, and hide the new column. I can hopefully then use the new column for my reporting summaries